Holiday parties have arrived! The time in which we gather with our colleagues in the spirit of togetherness and good cheer. Unless that is…

Workplace gossip has had an ill effect on the team.

This week we address gossip in the workplace. For many of you who have watched our orientation videos, you know we have a strict policy against participating in gossip at the worksite. And we assure our clients that our employees will show up to the worksite ready to stay focused on the tasks assigned. But we all need reminders from time to time, and with the festivities of the holiday season upon us, it is a good time to review why gossip should be avoided for the best interest of team morale. Because we all want to have a good time together, right?!

Workplace gossip never has a positive result. It is inherently negative in its nature, it never solves problems, and it often creates further discord among employees. Gossip is the discussion of others’ in such a way that is unsupportive, unconstructive, and very likely harmful. It solely serves the person performing the gossip, is dismissive of productivity, and can create an environment in which others feel unsafe. Gossip, in a nutshell, can dismantle the efficiency of a team’s performance and the harmonious culture of the company.

So what is to be done about gossip? First, don’t do it! The best way to prevent gossip’s negativity is the refusal to give it any air to breathe.

  1. Gossip versus venting. Gossip is often referred to as venting, but that isn’t the case. Venting can be done in such a way that is productive, airing out your grievances with a manager and then working together post-vent to solve the issues you are experiencing. Gossip is about bringing another person down. If you can approach your manager to efficiently discuss complaints, do so! If you find that you cannot, most likely you’re feeling tempted to gossip, and you should ask yourself: What would that serve me to gossip?
  2. Time and place. As stated, speak to a manager! Have a private conversation with this person. Never speak about your grievances where others can hear you, never use colorful language, and never involve people who are not part of the situation. Again, voice your concerns with your manager so that they may help you address the problem productively.
  3. Pick your battles. Gossip is lazy. It relies on you idly making judgments and/or accusations without getting the full picture. Asking yourself if you are 100% sure of your interpretation of an issue can help avoid your desire to gossip. And remember, even if you are 100% certain, it is still your interpretation. Grab your manager. Get the facts.

You might be asking yourself, what happens when gossip has penetrated the workplace? How do I remove myself from chatter or address it? One of the better resources we found on this can be found here. This article gives step-by-step tips on calmly and efficiently eradicating gossip from the worksite.

We hope that this endeavor to remind all of you of the ill-effects of office gossip will result in a fun holiday season of enjoying your teammates and starting off the New Year on a foundation of solidarity and excitement! Good luck and aim high!

Jessie Williams, Marketing Coordinator

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